Despite CAA test, JMU win is ‘Schor’ thing

(STATS) – There’s no buildup toward the grind of the CAA Football schedule. Even top-ranked James Madison experienced an immediate test in its conference opener.

But senior Bryan Schor threw touchdown passes to four different receivers and the defending FCS national champion Dukes pulled away from Maine 28-10 for their Division I-leading 16th straight win Saturday in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

James Madison (4-0, 1-0), which has won 11 straight conference games, beat Maine for the eighth time in the last nine meetings.

“Having a tough game like this and having to grind it out, it is really good for us,” said Schor, who completed 21 of 31 passes for 281 yards with one interception. “We didn’t start fast, so we had to keep our heads down and keep plugging away until something good happened.”

Coach Mike Houston agreed the tough opener “really helps us grow.”

The win was similar to last season, when the Dukes opened conference play by defeating the Black Bears (1-2, 0-2), but only after they trailed in the fourth quarter.

On Saturday before a Bridgeforth Stadium sellout of 25,330, the Dukes fell behind for the first time this season when Maine’s Josh Mack scored on a 60-yard run to make it 10-7 less than two minutes into the third quarter.

Schor answered with a 22-yard touchdown to David Eldridge with 9:12 left in the third, giving James Madison the lead for good.

Following a Rashad Robinson interception, the Dukes gained some breathing room on Schor’s 9-yard touchdown pitch and catch to running back Taylor Woods at the 12:07 mark of the fourth quarter.

Schor also threw touchdowns to tight end Jonathan Kloosterman and wide receiver Ezrah Archie.

James Madison was playing for the first time since it lost leading rusher Cardon Johnson to a season-ending injury. Georgia Tech transfer Marcus Marshall led the way with 135 yards on 19 carries. The Dukes finished with 191 yards on the ground, although Trai Sharp lost a fumble on the Maine 1-yard line in the third quarter.

James Madison entered the game having allowed only 191 rushing yards against its four prior opponents, including Youngstown State in the national championship win, but Mack carried the ball 24 times for 144 yards.

Jordan Brown and Jimmy Moreland also intercepted Maine’s Chris Ferguson, while linebacker Kyre Hawkins had two of James Madison’s four sacks.

Maine’s Sterling Sheffield collected eight tackles and 2 1/2 sacks.